19 March 2007

Rough Justice For Daniel Coffill And Family


Regular readers may think that some of my posts are jocular. Indeed some are. This one isn’t. The reason a section of my blogroll is devoted to law and order is because I care about it. I’ve met pensioners afraid to leave their home for (justifiable) fear of being mugged and I despise that situation. The following comment was made on a national newspaper’s website – no link exists because the comment was spiked. The comment relates to the Daniel Coffill case about which I blogged a few days ago.

"I was a juror at this trial. It was an enlightening and worrying awakening of how our system works. Jurors were loathe to leave the court buildings during the trial, as the defendant's friends and family were hanging around outside. At the end of the trial when the defendants were found guilty the judge told the jury that the two defendants weren't going to be sentenced, as they had harassed the two witnesses during the trial while they were walking to the station!

As a result, the two were put into custody awaiting a further trial and sentencing. I spoke to the court usher at the time and asked him what sentence he expected the boys to eventually get. He said they would get at least double figures, as now the effect the crime has on the victim's family is taken into account. To hear their sentence was so short in the first place is wrong but to have it shortened further is unbelievable.. The whole system is a mockery

These lads, and their families, even during the trial, had no respect for the courts or their judgment. One of the defendants 'slow hand clapped' the jurors as we left. As a result of intimidation, we were escorted out via a 'secret' exit from the court to avoid any confrontation.

Since this jury service I have repeatedly thought about Daniel Coffill and his family caring for him - such a tragedy. These two should not be out on the streets. They took no notice of authority even when on trial. I wish to remain anonymous as I don't want to come face to face with any of them if they are to be out so soon."


I’ve emboldened what I consider the most sickening elements of the juror’s quotes. Is this the sort of criminal justice system we deserve? Let’s hear your thoughts.

Update

Just got a link from the excellent Inspector Gadget who has been covering this case in more detail.

Update Two

People are welcome to delve into my archives to uncover factual inaccuracies. Hint - there have been two minor errors that I have needed to correct. I don't have a track record of lying on my blog. Off topic comments on this thread (i.e. calling me a liar) will be considered trolling and will be deleted.

27 comments:

mutleythedog said...

Shocking Mr PT. No jokes from me either.

Anonymous said...

The irony of all this is that the juror and anyone publishing the comment in the UK could fall foul of the Contempt of Court Act (even though there is nothing about the jury's deliberations) and, yet, open defiance of the court brought nothing in the way of punishment: neither witness intimidation nor contempt directed towards the jury.

Anonymous said...

When we talk of fair trials that doesn't just mean the defendant. That the actions described can happen with impunity is a national disgrace and a kick in the teeth to the victim and his family.

Benedict White said...

Firstly I have to say this seems ridiculous. The defendents seem to have shown no remorse, which might get them sometime off, but have got time of anyway!

Also there needs to be a severe crackdown on witness intimidation. We need to make it very very clear that people will do a lot of time if they even try.

Snoopy said...

Why should we believe this alleged juror? This could be anyone making up a story for a wide range of motives.

Let's keep level heads and not go believing and spreading hearsay just because it's what we want to hear.

Praguetory said...

Obviously I won't provide you with sources, but I believe that the quote is bona fide. I think readers can evaluate what they read for themselves. Unless you're actually going to dispute the factual accuracy of elements of the quote let's not redo "history GCSE" on this thread.

Snoopy said...

It is not obvious to me why you will not name your source - you said it was a national newspaper's website, so what is stopping you from giving its name? Then I could check with them myself whether the story had been posted and why they censored it.

Praguetory said...

In the juror's quote he/she says that she wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. That's sufficient reason for me.

Snoopy said...

There is no apparent danger of the juror's identity being uncovered if you tell us which newspaper's website the story was posted on. I hardly think the juror signed their name to a post which said they wanted to remain anonymous.

If you refuse to name the newspaper, readers are entitled to draw the conclusion that you are the liar who made up this story.

Praguetory said...

Piss off - this isn't Hansel and Gretel.

Ramon said...

So if it isn't Hansel and Gretel, are you going to tell us which fairy tale it is?

Nipper said...

The country is gone to the dogs when this can happen - and it certainly did happen.

All my thoughts are with Dan and his family. This needs to be in the public arena, and in the faces o those who rule us, because they have failed us, they have failed themselves and they have failed Dan.

A serving Cop

tyger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Serving Detective said...

Anyone who has been present at Magistrates Court or Crown Court will immediately see that the story above could have happened. I have seen the most appalling contempt shown to victims/police officers and families during and after cases. Snoopy may not be happy about the specific; but the fact is, it happends all the time like it or not.

Inspector Gadget said...

There are also loads more comments baout this back on the Inspector Gadget blog.

mutleythedog said...

All a big national disgrace in my view Mr PT

totallyun-pc said...

Ignore Snoopy, He wanders from site to site leaving bollocks posts to wind people up. Its a kind thing you did spreading the word.... Its not your fight... Its just the right thing to do. Well done you.

Nice blogsite by the way... may well add you to my list.

Vicola said...

If Snoopy thinks that such things as family and friends of defendents harrassing witnesses and jurors being too scared to give out their names is a myth then he/she needs to pull their head out of their arse and look around. It happens, it happens a lot and the fact that these 2 revolting little scrotes have been given a ridiculous sentence and then had it made even more ridiculous is a national disgrace.

kris said...

I've observed a few crown court cases and while most go by without incident, I've see for myself phil & grant mitchell types sitting in the public gallery glowering at a witness that had turned Queen's evidence. I also so those "friends" follow the witness into the gents. It was brought up by one of the barristers to the Judge- who merely gave the witness a "ticking off".

Christ almighty! You'd think court security staff would be awake to this by now. But it's all numb-nutted Securicor idiots in charge.

Go to a place like Snaresbrook and see for yourself the close proximity of the public gallery to the witness box.

PC South West said...

Shocking and sickening!!
Excellent post, shame about certain idiots comments.

poppy said...

That shows some serious problems with the system. They should work out a way for the jurors to remain anonymous, perhaps by screening them off from the court. Clearly something needs to change.

Anonymous said...

Please stop talking about snoupy or whatever he is called. Dan was brave enough to join the police and should have all right thinking peoples respect.

Anonymous said...

I was a juror at Leicester crown court. Second day of the trial I parked in the local car park and noticed the defendant getting out of his car 3 cars down from me. Worrying!

Joe90 said...

Send the bastards to jail for life, get them off the streets and don't let them back out until they are too old to do any damage.

Martyn Jones said...

Done Jury service, seen similar incidents where there have been 'confrontations' outside the court between defendents relatives and witnesses. On the one occasion I personally saw this happen, the jury was instructed to 'disregard' such behaviour by the Judge. This was Warwick Crown Court in the 1990's and things appear to have gotten worse since then.

Incidentally, even then we had the defendents' families in the gallery across and above the court from the jury box making 'gestures' at the witness box and jury. They were warned by the judge and then were seen no more after a fifteen minute adjournment.

Don't ask me for the case and reference becuase that definitely violates the oath of a juror, and I believe is a criminal offence. You can't make stuff like this up. Believe me, it happens.

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